Table of ContentsDownload Cite this report
Aspesi, C., Allen, N. S., Crow, R., Joseph, H., McArthur, J. T., & Shockey, N. (2020, June 22). 2020 Update: SPARC Landscape Analysis & Roadmap for Action. , https://doi.org/10.31229/osf.io/2pwft
Aspesi, Claudio, et al. “2020 Update: SPARC Landscape Analysis & Roadmap for Action.” , 22 Jun. 2020, https://doi.org/10.31229/osf.io/2pwft .
Aspesi, Claudio, Nicole S. Allen, Raym Crow, Heather Joseph, Joseph T. W. McArthur, and Nick Shockey. 2020. “2020 Update: SPARC Landscape Analysis & Roadmap for Action.” , June 22. https://doi.org/10.31229/osf.io/2pwft
In the year since our initial analysis major companies have shifted away from research publishing and towards research assessment; from individual research distribution to consolidated models and the emergence of a “Bigger Deal,” where institutional content licensing is directly linked to the purchase of data analytics services.
What does the landscape, and path to action, look like one year after our initial analysis?
Update to The Landscape Analysis
The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19’s impact on research funding may well affect open access publishing specifically.
Publicly Listed Companies
The companies that are fully or partially owned by private equity (PE) companies (Springer Nature Group, McGraw-Hill Education and Cengage), all have significant debt.
The Effect of the Failed Cengage/McGraw-Hill Education Merger
The decision to abandon their merger because of the divestitures required by the Department of Justice (DOJ) has left the companies with a more complicated future.
Emerging Concerns: A Shift from Research Publishing to Research Assessment
We're concerned by new initiatives with inherent conflicts of interest between assessing and evaluating research, on the one hand, and disseminating it, on the other.
Emerging Concerns: From Individual to Communal Research Distribution
The recently released GetFTR has several concerning disadvantages, both operational and strategic, for academic institutions and, in particular, for academic libraries.
Emerging Concerns: The Bigger Deal
Novel agreements like the Elsevier/Dutch Institution deal are highly problematic and concerning. Institutions and consortia should consider and robustly debate the ramifications of these decisions, before pursuing what may prove to be partial and short-lived benefits.
Update to the Roadmap for Action
Acting in conditions of high uncertainty is particularly difficult. These are actions that libraries, in particular, and academic institutions, in general, could take regardless of the current situation.
A Time for Radical Change
Use this opportunity not just to reopen the current academic system but also to make substantive progress toward building a more equitable and open one.
Appendix: Scholarly Journals
The scholarly journals business is still on a path to raising its profitability, but pricing pressures will intensify and we see substantial stagnation of subscription revenues.
Can digital revenues return the courseware business to growth or will they be insufficient to compensate the accelerated decline of print revenues?
Appendix: The Industry Response
Most of the leading publishers strengthened their digital and data analytics offerings in 2019, and have continued to do so into 2020.